Head Basketball Coach Linc Darner won the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II National Coach of the Year award, as well as several other coach of the year honors.
After leading the Moccasins to a school record 36 wins and the second basketball national championship in FSC’s history, Darner has accumulated five coach of the year awards.
Along with the NABC Division II honor, he was also awarded the Schelde Sports Division II Bulletin Coach of the Year, Basketball Times Coach of the Year, NABC South Region Coach of the Year and Sunshine State Conference Coach of the Year.
“It’s a great honor,” Darner said. “I always tell people you only get those awards if you have an outstanding season, and without the great players we have here and assistant coaches, those awards would never be possible.”
Darner specifically pointed out how much of an honor it was to win the NABC Coach of the Year because it is voted on by fellow Division II basketball coaches.
While the national championship victory is a few weeks old, the merriment for the team has not stopped. Darner and his team are taking all the chances they can get to celebrate the victory with the fans and the community. From radio interviews, throwing out the first pitch at a Detroit Tigers spring training game, to being honored by the mayor of Lakeland, the celebrations will continue.
“We are getting a lot of requests to go different places, do different things and to be honored, and we are taking full advantage of it because it’s not an easy thing to do,” Darner. “It’s a tough road… but it’s been a great run so far.”
The coach could not stop praising his players and emphasizing that the reason the team won was because of the players, not because of the coach. He said they won because of their will to win, as well as the improvement the seniors have made over their career here at Florida Southern.
While the school may have a lot of work to do in replacing the valuable seniors graduating this year, he said recruiting has gotten easier since the victory. Winning the championship has really helped, according to Darner, because people watched the team on CBS and saw his coaching style of letting the players play and not controlling their every move.
“Sixty-four teams started the journey,” Darner said. “There is only going to be one team that is happy at the end, and this year we were fortunate enough that it was us at Florida Southern.”
Darner recently accepted a coaching position at University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
Photo by Bethany Schram